The Institute of Solidarity in Asia (ISA) welcomed the new year with renewed hope as the nation gears up for the much-anticipated national elections and prepares for a “new normal” as quarantine restrictions gradually deescalate. With many unpredicted and pivotal events fast approaching, we at ISA continue to build our shared vision of a Dream Philippines through our events and capacity-building programs. 

February has been the briefest but busiest month so far, as ISA successfully brought our partners three insightful and fun-filled events in the span of 28 days. And just in case you missed any, here’s a run-down of ISA’s February events and programs for you:

Public Governance Forum: Mindanao Central Sanitarium’s Online Revalida 

The Mindanao Central Sanitarium (MCS) made headway in their transformation journey as they passed the Initiation Stage of the Performance Governance System (PGS), taking home the Silver Trailblazer Award for its performance. 

During their online public revalida last February 2, MCS Medical Center Chief, Dr. Hannah R. Turco, provided a detailed presentation of the hospital’s history, service expansion efforts, and strategic position as a Level II Hospital with accredited departmentalized services in OB-GYNE and Pediatrics serving Zamboanga City with hospice care facility for Hansen’s patients of Mindanao by 2025.

Formerly known as the Zamboanga Central Leprosarium, MCS was established in 1929 in an effort to segregate the increasing number of lepers from the general population and control the spread of the disease. To this date, the institution continues to treat leprosy-related issues (now called Hansen’s disease) by providing quality diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. 

The key points in the transformation of MCS were reflected in their Core Roadmaps, namely Patient Care, which enumerates the plans to develop its new, ancillary, and hospice care services; Training, which outlines the medical personnel that MCS will capacitate; Research, which contributes to the improvement of patient care, public health, and operations; and Linkages, which shows the deliverables that MCS is committing to engage its stakeholders.

During the closed-door panel led by Mr. Guillermo Luz, the multi-sector panel noted that the MCS has successfully satisfied the requirements of the Initiation stage and is gearing up for the next level of the pathway. When asked what influences them to practice PGS, Dr, Turco Well, said that the PGS helped the institution bring their visions to reality.

“With PGS, nakikita mo na may progess. Actually sa ngayon palang, noong ginagawa pa lang ito there were already early wins. It gives us a satisfaction na may nagawa na pala, [giving] us a different high. Kaya I do believe that this is the right pathway for us to have a very good governance in delivering the health service,” she said.

In her acceptance speech, Dr. Turco thanked the MCS’ OSM and PGS Core Team for their perseverance toward excellence. With such an honorable spirit, the MCS will surely be back to ace the rest of its PGS journey.

25th Governance Boot Camp Basic Class

Now on its 25th run, ISA has once again commenced its highly-anticipated, week-long Governance Boot Camp Online – Basic Class last February 14 to 18. With the theme “Seasons of Love”, the Boot Camp welcomed 61 passionate delegates from eight organizations to deepen their appreciation of the PGS.

The week started with guest speaker, ISA Trustee Ms. Mary Jane C. Ortega, who inspired the participants through her lecture on Building Our Dream Philippines. Encompassing major topics regarding city development strategies, development, and the upcoming election, Ms. Ortega emphasized the importance of speaking up and togetherness as a nation.

“We are doing this for the children. Where the poor can be wealthy because, with education, you can have the key to prosperity.“ Delegates were reminded that building our Dream Philippines starts with us, for the future Filipinos. The first day ended with an open forum, centered on proper governance, accountability measures, as well as advice for the attendees.

The workshop was then followed by a series of strategy-centered talks by ISA’s Executive Director, Mr. Chris Zaens from Days 2 to 4, which focused on strategy fundamentals, disciplined execution, and beyond cascading. Mr. Zaens deeply engraved the power of accountability and action toward reaching a collective goal. As one of his major takeaways, the PGS Practice Leader said that “discipline and proficiency of all stages in service of result, together, can be key to reaching breakthrough results for the organizations.”

The last day of the Boot Camp ended with a presentation by outstanding PGS Movers, namely Ms. Jam Z. Banzon of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Dr. Misael Cruz of Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital (JBLMMH), and Dr. Maria Jopson of Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), who shared their pain points and breakthroughs in the PGS.

Apart from the insightful lectures, the delegates also enjoyed a series of online and offline Boot Camp Energizers that refreshed all their learnings in the five-day workshop. Hailed as the 25th Ultimate Governance Warrior, Mr. Harris M. Sulaiman from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Reconciliation and Unity said that the recognition has driven him to make a change together with his team in their organization.

(Being the UGW) really humbles me and inspires me to move forward, to go on with the things that I do now. I’m really loving my work, I do have a fantastic group. I feel like I have a big responsibility to show them now!” 

Skills Lab on the Harmonization of the PGS and ISO

ISA capped off the month on a high note with the in-demand Skills Lab course on the Harmonization of the PGS with ISO. Led by ISA’s go-to ISO expert, Ms. Darlene Page-Elnar of the DPage Management Consultancy, the two-day Skills Lab workshop provided a thorough understanding of ISO 9001:2015, familiarized the delegates with the requirements of International Standards such as Quality Management Principles, and discussed the integration of the PGS with ISO’s existing practices.


Ms. Page-Elnar thoroughly discussed each stage of the PGS from design, execution, and attaining sustainability. She also shared the essential key points of sustaining stage including, the governance culture and determining and analyzing breakthrough results, which are vital in achieving our Dream Philippines while aligning the organizations’ programs with the International Organization for Standardization.

In the second module, Ms. Page-Elnar gave the delegates an overview of the ISO history, highlighting the existing ISO standards worldwide and identifying the most well-known standards in the Philippines. Under the Quality Management System concepts, Ms. page-Elnar reminded that leaders should identify the processes needed to achieve the planned results, continually monitor the risks, understand cause and effect, and manage the processes and the system using PDCA or “plan-do-check-act”.

On the last day, the delegates were tasked to harmonize PGS with ISO in their programs during a workshop. Ms. Page-Elnar had a chance to discuss with each group and critique their outputs based on their strategy roadmaps. Ultimately, she reiterated the importance of identifying interested parties and their relevance and the risks and opportunities these entail. 

Missed any of these events in February? We’ve got more events in store for you! Check out our events this March: 

  • Sparking Change through Storytelling: Skills Lab on Revalida Storytelling | March 10 to 11
  • Public Governance Forum: Lung Center of the Philippines Online Revalida (Compliance) | March 14
  • #ISAngKilosBayan Webinar on National Economic Recovery | March 30

For inquiries, you can email Janine Medina at jmedina@isacenter.org